Friday, 23 January 2015

Five on Friday - January

I'm joining in with Five on Friday organised by Amy at Love Made my Home where once a month we take five minutes from our day to enjoy five things. Do pop in to see what others in my group are up to at the bottom of the page.

This month I'm sharing a few of my recent makes.

1. I'm enjoying creating and making mini photo albums and journals. Here are a few that I've gifted or kept for myself.

2. I found this crocheted cowl on Pinterest and simply had to make it in advance of any colder weather. So cosy and warm too and only took about four hours to make.

Not very good at "Selfies" I'm afraid.

3. Nothing better than a bowl of homemade veggie soup - wouldn't be without my soup maker. I just threw in some veggies that were sitting in the fridge - carrots, onion, courgette, swede etc., plus a tin of tomatoes, stock cube, seasoning, herbs - basil, oregano and top up with about 500 mls water. Yummy.

4. Tomato Chutney - a must with cheeses, cold meats, pork pies etc. Not sure why I only make it in the winter though.

5. Back on the crafting note here are a couple of gift bags/envelopes I made and have put aside for upcoming birthdays

Amy at Love Made my Home
Kristie at North of 49
Katharine at Art-e-Facts
Selma at Eclectic home life
Marion at My two girls
Teresa at Knit, Bake, Cultivate

Have a good weekend dear friends.

Friday, 9 January 2015

A Year in Books - January

I'm linking up with Laura at Circle of Pine Trees with the Year in Books 2015. I did join last year but other things were getting in the way and I didn't find the time to carry it through. However, new year new outlook and I can't wait to get reading again, deciding that the time spent reading quietly is time well spent.

The aim of the Year in Books project is to read at least one book a month during 2015. It's not a conventional book club so we don't all read the same book. The project is about trying to ensure that we make space for reading in our busy lives and a chance to discover more lovely books. At the start of the month we blog about the book that we are intending to read and perhaps a few words about the previous book.

The book I've just picked up is one I started reading about six months ago but as it was too large to take on holiday with me  I put back on the shelf,  as we do, and simply didn't pick it up again until now.

My book is  Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. 

I've just heard there is a new drama series coming on the TV some time soon called Wolf Hall -  which means I just have to read the book before it starts. Consequently I'm reading it at every opportunity I can -  in fact I'm so 'into it' now I can't put it down! I love history especially during the time of Tudor England in the 1500s and this book is ticking all the boxes.

Seeing as Ive just come aboard and haven't a book for December, I'll just give you a little sneak of a beautiful book my husband gave me for Christmas called Paper Bliss by Skye Rogers. I love paper crafting and anything to do with paper so this really is bliss.

it has so many pages of gorgeous paper with designs

including pages that open out with even more lovely designs

even the book cover opens out to reveal a huge page of templates for cutting out.

Not everyone's cup of tea I'll grant you but if you love anything to do with paper  loveliness,  then you'll love this book.

Bye for now and have a great weekend.
P x

Monday, 5 January 2015

A family heirloom

In 2001 I signed up for a two year City and Guilds course called Victorian Heirlooms, where we learnt how to re-create many Victorian crafts and techniques as well as learning about 19th century history and famous people alongside it. The Pre Raphaelites, The Arts and Crafts Movement including William Morris, William de Morgan. Authors such as Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens; designers and gardeners Edwin Lutyens, Paxton and Gertrude Jekyll to name but a few. Fabulous course which has stayed with me forever.

As a final piece of work we had to produce an heirloom using many of the techniques we had used during the course such as embroidery, paint effects, ageing and distressing paper, wood and fabric. I decided on a doll house but one with a difference as it was to be a shop and this shop would be a replica of John's grandfather's shop he owned in Histon, Cambridgeshire in the early 1900s named J.T. Marshall - General Stores and Tobacconist.

I bought the house which I had to put together and paint, tile the roof, added chimney pots, plastic windows with adverts on, put up shelves and skirting boards, laid fake linoleum to the floors, lighting and so on and so forth. It was fun and I spent many hours and many pennies furnishing the shop area with suitable pieces to scale.

(please excuse the quality of the photos - I had to take pictures of photos in my folder)

I tried to replicate it as much as I could from this one photo

It was very fiddly trying to put all the groceries out on show. 
I made all the fruit and bread with a polymer clay

 and also all the sacks and carrier bags from paper and linen

as well as the shop sign and adverts for the windows

After my coursework and the house/shop project was completed (which I passed) it went up into our loft. I didn't have time to complete the house part as I was going on to do my History degree and simply didn't have the time.

So, what to do with this now you may ask. Well my three youngest grandchildren who carry on the family name aged 8, 5 and 2 years old have just taken possession of their great, great grandfather's shop together with a potted history of his life.

 It was a picture on Christmas afternoon to see their faces when I uncovered it -

and a delight to know it will remain in the family for the foreseeable future.

Have you got any heirlooms to pass down to future generations?

Have a good week.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year new Shoots

Welcome to 2015 and here's to a happy and peaceful year ahead. I love keeping a diary and this morning opened up my new blank journal ready to start recording my musings and jottings - and lists, I love making lists. So - lots of plans to make - challenges to conquer and I guess some changes too in our household. Exciting times ahead - a bit like turning a new leaf.  I read this the other day - not sure where or by whom but liked the meaning behind it.

It's a new year. It's time to start again. Stop thinking about what you're
going to do and start doing it. It's time to live your life 
and be who you are.Forget about whatever happened last year 
and just move on. Take risks
and be yourself, you only have one life and it's time to 
make the most of it.

This morning I spotted these new daffodil shoots that had just emerged from beneath the soil.  Very early methinks but Mother Nature has a unique way of letting us know that all too soon the season will be changing - the evenings will start to draw out  -  and Spring is just around the corner.

Enjoy this first day of 2015

See you soon
Patricia x

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Evening sunsets and early morning frost

Yesterday late afternoon, armed with my Canon camera we took a walk along the cobbled streets of Old Leigh - our nearest fishing harbour about ten minutes drive away. It was a gloriously sunny afternoon and always in search of a good sunset we hung around to snap up the panorama.

By the time we got home the sun had gone but it had left some beautiful red skies behind so stopped off at our churchyard at the top of the hill to snap a few more

This morning's walk was bright and crispy under foot and took me across some local common ground. Everything was coated in this beautiful frost - I believe it's called a hoare frost. My camera phone came in useful here

 Mother nature at its best eh?

 See you soon 
P x

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Waste not - want not...

Christmas morning I got up quite early, like you do, to switch my oven on in readiness for putting the turkey in to roast. I have never had a problem with my cooker and bearing in mind that my oven takes only five minutes to heat up to temperature (you know what's coming don't you) well it didn't. An hour later it was barely tepid and the thermostat hadn't risen above 50 degrees. It was completely kaput.  I do have a smaller upper oven but do you think the turkey would fit in - no. By this time I could have got into a stew - sorry about the pun - but no I chose to rise above it.  So the turkey, wrapped up in foil and a joint of pork was carted around to my daughter's kitchen by the hubster so that she could roast it for me and bring it along when they all came for lunch later. I was able to roast my potatoes and beef etc in the  small oven so all was not lost and a merry time was had by all. 

However I'm thinking I may have a tad over estimated on the amount of meat and poultry I needed for my Christmas entertaining - well we do don't we! Rather have too much than not enough. That being so, today I'm sorting the leftovers into various portions for different uses.

first there was the turkey and pork to divide up into appropriate sized 
portions for making curries, and sauces for pasta etc.

Five good portions for two  all ready to freeze

then there was the cold roast beef to mince and freeze for making
 cottage pies and Bolognaise sauces.

Lastly there was the turkey stock to make (my mother bless her, would be so proud of me). She had been known to take my turkey carcass home with her after spending Christmas lunch with us, for making her own stock back in the days when I didn't bother.

So now joy of joys I now have a wonderful aroma of turkey wafting around my kitchen which I did not have on Christmas morning and I've got three pints of turkey stock to add to my homemade soups for my trouble

Bye for now - off to put my curry on

P x

Friday, 26 December 2014

Five on Friday

Hello my friends, I hope you're all enjoying the festive season. I wouldn't normally write a post on Boxing Day but I've pre written this in advance so it could go out today.  I'm joining in with fellow bloggers to join Five on Friday posts once a month organised by Amy at Love made my home, taking five minutes from our day to enjoy five things.

So, here is a selection of five themes during the run up to Christmas.

1.  A recent trip to Harrogate and afternoon tea at Bettys - Mmm delicious!

 2. A few crafty moments

3. A lovely trip to London with my sister Barbara and husbands to see a performance of my all time favourite Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

4. A random selection of my favourite books - including some recently bought vintage books, my best ever Christmas read and my new Paper Bliss book - which should keep me absorbed for hours!

5. Some lovely days out with friends and family

Do pop over to see what the other people who are also blogging about Five on Friday this week at the end of this post.

Here's wishing you all a very Happy New Year and I'll see you all again in 2015.

Amy at Love made my home
Katharine at Art-e-facts
Kristie at North of 49
Selma at Eclectic home and life
Marion at My two girls